Vega Sicilia 'Alion' Ribera del Duero 2018
95 Points Wine Advocate
The 2018 Alión follows the path of the 2016: it is fresh and elegant and from a cooler (more Atlantic) vintage with more rain than the average and a relatively late harvest between September 28th and October 12th. They used 80% new barrels, with up to 10% made of American oak looking to (in their own words) give more sucrosity and sweetness to the wine, as it's a more vertical, tense and elegant expression of Alión. Part of the wine matured in concrete (something they started in 2016), and in 2021 they are experimenting with a 4,000-liter Rousseau foudre, as they want to keep working the texture and freshness. The wine is ripe at 15% alcohol and has a pH of 3.8 and a mellow 4.6 grams of acidity, round and soft. The wine matured until it was bottled in June 2020. The truth is that the wine comes through as subtle, elegant and balanced, with very integrated oak and a nice texture. It's one of the finest vintages for Alión.